Well, we have received good news (even if I’m a few days late posting it to the blog). We will be closing on the trailer we were looking at on March 1st. After that the trailer, while in poor condition, will officially be ours.
As I’ve said, it’s definitely not the world’s best trailer. There is graffiti on the interior walls, mold in a couple of places, the living room carpet is in bad shape, and the vinyl tiles in the entry way and kitchen have come up in some places. The only appliance in the entire trailer is an older gas stove. But it is priced as something we could afford. In fact, doing the math, with the deal we’re going to get on this trailer, even if we put in $6000 in repairs in the first year we would break even with paying rent at $750 a month for a year. Then we will be benefiting from our upgrades and expenditures rather than just loosing the money in rent.
Our goal though is to try and be as frugal as possible with what we put into this trailer, so that down the road we can have a down payment towards something else. Since we have to redo flooring, walls, and kitchen cabinets as well as purchase appliances our money won’t go far.
On Friday, we did some looking around. We have a quote for appliances, and while we aren’t looking at the top of the line, what we’re interested in would cost us $3,000 alone. A quick estimate on cheap kitchen cabinets is around $3,000 as well. And that doesn’t include flooring or new walls. This all means that our money could go very quickly, and since we don’t have it all up front, it could take a while.
One of the things this means is that as we planned, we will have to do the work ourselves. We will also have to find some alternatives. Instead of purchasing all the appliances new, we’ll most likely use FreeCycle or Craig’s List. Originally, we thought about hardwood floors but then realized that since it’s a trailer, it would make more sense to go with laminate. Neither of want carpet in the house, and luckily laminate is cheaper than carpet anyway.
As for the cost of cabinets, well, we’ve all but decided to go another direction there as well. Instead of purchasing cabinets, we’re going to make them. Shane’s brother made cabinets for their mother a number of years ago, that have stood up to four moves. Therefore Shane is pretty sure he can make cabinets that would work also, “they’re just boxes.” We will have to purchase a few tools to make them, but according to some quick math it looks like we should be able to make the cabinets for about half the cost of purchasing cabinets.
Once we close on the trailer, we’ll go in and take measurements. Once we have those measurements, then we’ll plan out the exact layout we want. We may make a few changes in the layout, but there are some things that are harder to change then others. It’s not going to make sense to move the furnace, and while we could change the plumbing the less changes we have to make there as well, is probably the better.
Our plan is to redo the kitchen, it will most likely have a brand new layout, or at least a some updates to the layout. We are also planning what most would consider a massive island. We’re thinking about 5 x 7 in size, which includes overhangs on two sides for seating. Well, with an island that big in a trailer your not going to have room for a table.